Thursday, April 28, 2005

Bill. You're a dick.

Story

Microsoft is having a hard time finding skilled workers within the United States, and the lack of H-1B visas for skilled workers is only making the situation worse, Gates said in a panel discussion at the Library of Congress.


Tell the truth. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that Microsoft is having a hard time finding workers within the United States that are willing to work for peanuts? And lets be honest, working at Redmond isn't that attractive anymore, now that a large portion of your staff is perpetually in a state of temp-perm with no bennies.

Oh, and good luck keeping what few creative people you have, now that you've bent over for the Religious Right and pulled support for the gay rights bill (I'd like to see Ballmer dance his way out of this one), and now that its been leaked that you're paying Ralph Reed 20k$ a month for whatever it is that he does. I'll bet there isn't a programmer in Redmond making that much dough.

Undersecretary of Commerce Phil Bond, a top Bush administration technology official, pointed out that the unemployment rate for engineers is above the national average.


Well no shit Sherlock. The jobs are all going to foreign kids fresh out of school that don't know any better and will let corporate bloodsuckers like you exploit them while you dazzle them with doors and free pizza. And soda.

Reap what you sow; pay peanuts, get monkeys. That's why your code sucks, thats why XBox is one of the biggest financial disasters of all time, thats why you're getting spanked left and right by Google, and thats why your OS is a bloated insecure piece of crap that is chasing everyone to osX. And speaking of bloated insecure piece of crap, what has the release date of Longhorn slipped to lately?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

New Pope, Old Pope

Found these little nuggets in the "letters" section of Salon.

How can anyone be surprised that the new pope does not appear to be enlightened? Just look at the job listing.

Wanted: Replacement pope for Catholic Church. Must try to resolve complex modern crises by reference to cryptic, ancient, incomplete, self-contradictory and apocryphal writings. Must believe that a virgin had a baby. Must disparage homosexuals, even though significant numbers of co-workers are gay. Must assert that all other religions are false. Must believe that women are not qualified to be leaders in the organization and they must serve the men. Must believe himself to be infallible. Must be willing to stand up in expensive clothes in posh surroundings and declare himself "a simple, humble worker." Willingness to tolerate rape of children by co-workers a plus. Typing skills not required.

-- Erich Vieth


Nothing is going to change. The church will continue to do what it has always done for the past two thousand years; sow fear, self-loathing and empty promises to its adherents. The Catholic Church, like most other religious organizations, is -- and always has been -- an institution built on the fundamental idea that the rabble need to be kept in line so that the elites can exploit and plunder them with as little resistance as possible. Give a peasant a work ethic, a fear of a jealous and wrathful almighty, and then add a promise of rewards in the afterlife for his servitude here on earth, and bingo: an ignorant and docile subject! If this sounds cynical and harsh, I'm sorry, but as the Bible says, "By their works ye shall know them." You only have to look at Cardinal Ratzinger's treatment of liberation theology (an oxymoron if there ever was one) to see that his election is business as usual for the church.

[...]

I can't help but recall the words of the philosopher and revolutionary Denis Diderot: "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." I can't condone the means -- but the end is a noble goal.

-- Chad Bagley


Yeah, I'm going to hell, I know.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Democracy

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will press President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to keep his pledge not to run for a third successive term and will ask him to stem erosion of Russia's democracy.


Full story here.

I think my irony meter just exploded.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Marla



Marla Ruzicka
Dec 31, 1977 - Apr 17, 2005.

Google her name, and be amazed.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hot Import Nights

Went to Hot Import Nights at the Orlando Convention Centre yesterday. Lots of interesting stuff to see.



I think there were some cars there too.

Friday, April 15, 2005

You are a dork

if you wear sneakers and khakis. And Dockers are never, ever, ever cool, no matter what the ads tell you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sasha & James Zabiela

Got to meet my two favourite DJs of all time at Ultra 2005.




Was a good night. Thanks to my friends Steve & Shari, I got onstage, was in the dressing room for the afterparty, spent some quality time with five groupies from LA (and I'd just like to take a moment to point out that not all groupies are created equal), met Sasha, James Zabiela, all sorts of other music industry people, and was generally a rockstar. I really don't know how the hell I'm gonna top this one.

Thanks again guys.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Under god, forever

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."


In 1954, Senator Homer Ferguson sponsored a bill to amend the Pledge of Allegiance to include the words "under god", supposedly to distinguish the US from the (atheist) USSR. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law on June 14, 1954.

In June 2002 Michael Newdow sued for the removal of the words "under god" from the pledge of allegiance, on the grounds that the first amendment prohibits the establishment of a state religion, and that he had a right to raise his daughter "without god being imposed into her life by her schooteachers". The 9th Circuit Court decided that the inclusion of the "under god" clause was unconstitutional, and ruled in his favour.

Shortly after, the issue was raised to the Supreme Court.

Faced with the dilemma of choosing between incurring the wrath of the Christian Taliban and possible impeachment, or forever destroying their legacy by going down in history as being party to one of the worst legal decisions of all time, the Justices of the Supreme Court did the only thing they could do. They punted.

The Supremes overturned the ruling of the lower Court, but refused to make a decision with regards to the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance. The official excuse was that since Michael Newdow did not have sole custody of his child, he had no grounds to sue on his daughter's behalf.

Note that since they have not actually made a decision, this case can theoretically be brought to the Supreme Court again.

But not if Shelby (R-AS), Brownback (R-KS) and Burr (R-NC) have their way. Having solved all problems in their respective home states, they have taken it upon themselves to look after the spiritual welfare of the nation by introducing Senate House Bill 520, otherwise known as the "Constitution Restoration Act of 2005", which seeks to amend Title 28, Chapter 81 of the United States Code to add the following;


'Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'


I hope that this piece of shit doesn't pass, but I suspect that I will be disappointed as we continue our inexorable march toward becoming a theocratic state.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Kava

I wrote this to Sashi recently describing Kava, and figured it would make an interesting blog entry.



Kava is a root, the Fijians grind it up, wrap it up in silk (or a stocking) and stir it around in a big bowl filled with water (kind of like a teabag) until enough of it has permeated the water.

They then sit around in a circle with the bowl of Kava in the middle. The same guy who did the mixing dips a smaller bowl (traditionally he uses a coconut shell, and the big bowl is carved from Vesi wood) and he will pass you the shell. You drink it in one shot - its rude not to - and then give the shell back to him. He will then fill it and hand it to the next guy, and this keeps going until all the kava is gone.

They do this at everything; weddings, sales of land, while sitting around waiting for the bus, the taxi drivers do it while waiting for customers at the airport, the air traffic controllers drink it at the airport at night (where I had it when I was doing work for the Fijian air traffic control people). From what I understand, no major transaction is legal without the ritual sharing of Kava.

It looks like muddy water, tastes like shit, and makes your mouth numb. After a while you get groggy and start thinking in slow motion, you laugh, talk shit, stagger around, etc. Makes your drool a lot too. Its like being drunk, but with no hang-over, and unlike alcohol, I don't think that Kava does you any harm. I did notice that a lot of the younger people I met, especially the girls, don't drink it.

I actually brought some Kava back from Fiji and one night Marta (the Spanish chick I was living with at the time) and I sat around and got fucked up on it.

Interestingly enough, that tradition carries over into the way Fijians drink alcohol. If there are a group of friends drinking beer, they buy 40s and then one guy takes a small glass, pours you a shot, hands it to you, you drink it and pass it back, and so on. Not all Fijians drink beer that way - I only saw this on the smaller, more remote islands. I was fortunate enough to get invited to drink with some Fijians like this when I was in Delaikoro, which was pretty damm cool.

Supposedly the kava root is some sort of cousin to the pepper. In the US they sell pills with kava extract for stress relief, I've seen them in Wal-Mart but I haven't tried them.